For many Quantum Pathways students, August 30th was their last day at QMI. Hemadri Bhotla Vasudha is a 1st year Quantum Pathways student who had to say her farewells a little earlier than her cohorts this year as the fall semester begins in August at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi, where she is currently completing a Bachelor of Technology in Engineering Physics. Below, she shares some of the highlights from her experience here at QMI.
“Apart from working on my project, I attended several summer experimental skills workshops and seminars. We got to engrave our names on silicon chips and understand how electron beam lithography is done, which was a lot of fun.
This helped me to get an idea of the infrastructure at QMI. I also enjoyed meeting the people – other students in the program, professors and administration – here at QMI.”
This summer, the Quantum Pathways program saw 11 more students enter the multi-year scholarship program than last year. Students were either grouped in a cohort and/or assigned to specific groups according to research interests identified from their applications. Vasudha had the opportunity to work with Joe Salfi, a UBC assistant professor in Quantum Information Science and Technology, and an QMI research collaborator on a joint project with CFREF-funded Institut Quantique at the Université de Sherbroke.
While the program provides undergrads with the opportunity to learn more about experimental processes and lab work, the project Vasudha undertook with Salfi focused on simulation of a quantum computer.
“I worked with Joe Salfi, who does experiments but also works with theory. I’m interested in quantum mechanics and quantum computing and got in touch with him, which is also how I applied to the program. With Salfi, I looked at how quantum decoherence and its effects on quantum computing accuracy. The aim of this project was to simulate the quantum system and get the results that would guide an experimentalist.”
Andrey Blednov and Kashif Awan give the Quantum Pathways student a tour of the Electron Microscopy Lab.
She’s also taken advantage of the hands-on approach of the program. “At IIT, because the coursework is really heavy, undergrads have to go out of their way if they want lab experience. Hence summer is a good time to indulge in what you want to explore.”
Vasudha is attentive to the learning opportunities around her. “If there is an opportunity to learn, I will take it. I think you can gain a lot of confidence from studying hard.”
Regarding her experience here at QMI, she has two comments: “This is a fun place to be in if you really love what you’re doing,” and hopes that people will remember that “there is inspiration all around you.”
Story: Sophia Han
Photos: Paul Joseph, Sophia Han